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Fibre-optic broadband will be fundamental to the future of the north-west of England, according to an expert.

Mike Blackburn, the north-west regional director of BT, said broadband has "a huge contribution" to make to the future of the region in terms of the way people both live and work.

He made the comment to the Manchester Evening News after it was confirmed the company is to introduce the technology across the region in the next few months.

"This major investment is a further example of BT's commitment to the north-west and its determination to play a leading role in making the great benefits of broadband as widely available as possible," he explained to the newspaper.

Last week, the government announced the launch of new fund which will be used to support efforts to ensure 90 per cent of the UK has access to fibre-optic broadband services by 2017.

It is hoped the initiative will particularly help firms based in rural areas.

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